Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, handed out top honors to The Artist, The Descendants and Margin Call at this afternoon’s 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards. My Week With Marilyn, Beginners, 50/50, A Separation and The Interrupters also received awards at the ceremony, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
Tune in to IFC tonight at 10:00 pm ET/PT to catch all the action at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, with actor, writer and producer Seth Rogen hosting. Highlights include: John Waters as the Voice of God, musical performances by My Morning Jacket and K’Naan.
The Spirit Awards was the first event to exclusively honor independent film, and over the past 27 years, has become the premier awards show for the independent film community, celebrating films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams and many more.
This year’s major category winners were The Weinstein Company’s The Artist, which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead and Best Cinematography and My Week With Marilyn, which won Best Female Lead; Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants, which won Best Supporting Female and Best Screenplay; Focus Features’ Beginners, which won Best Supporting Male and Pariah, which won the John Cassavetes Award; Summit Entertainment’s 50/50, which won Best First Screenplay; Roadside Attractions’ Margin Call, which won Best First Feature; Sony Pictures Classics’ A Separation, which won Best International Film; and The Cinema Guild’s The Interrupters, which won Best Documentary.
The 5th annual Robert Altman Award was given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. J. C. Chandor’s Margin Call received this award, along with casting directors Tiffany Little Canfield and Bernard Telsey and ensemble cast members Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey and Stanley Tucci.
The following is a complete list of the winners:
Best Feature The Weinstein Company
The Artist Producer: Thomas Langmann
Best Director The Weinstein Company
Michel Hazanavicius The Artist
Best Screenplay Fox Searchlight
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash The Descendants
Best First Feature Roadside Attractions
Margin Call Director: J.C. Chandor
Producers: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Neal Dodson, Zachary Quinto
Best First Screenplay Summit Entertainment
Will Reiser 50/50
John Cassavetes Award Focus Features
(For the best feature made under $500,000) Writer/Director: Dee Rees
Pariah Producer: Nekisa Cooper
Best Supporting Female Fox Searchlight
Shailene Woodley The Descendants
Best Supporting Male Focus Features
Christopher Plummer Beginners
Best Female The Weinstein Company
Michelle Williams My Week With Marilyn
Best Male The Weinstein Company
Jean Dujardin The Artist
Best Cinematography The Weinstein Company
Guillaume Schiffman The Artist
Best Foreign Film Sony Pictures Classics
A Separation Director: Asghar Farhadi
Best Documentary The Cinema Guild
The Interrupters Director: Steve James
Producer: Alex Kotlowitz
2012 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD WINNERS BY DISTRIBUTOR
The Weinstein Company 5
Focus Features 2
Fox Searchlight 2
Roadside Attractions 2
The Cinema Guild 1
Sony Pictures Classics 1
Summit Entertainment 1
Two new filmmaker grants were awarded during the ceremony. The 2012 Chaz and Roger Ebert Fellowship, which recognizes a social-issue documentary and includes a cash grant of $10,000, was given to Katie Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall, co-directors of the documentary Call Me Kuchu. The film was developed in Film Independent’s 2011 Documentary Lab and has its world premiere at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary.
The 2012 Giorgio Armani Directing Fellowship, which includes a cash grant of $10,000, was awarded to Grace Lee, director of the documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs. The film, currently in post-production, is in Film Independent’s 2012 Documentary Lab.
On January 14th, the following winners were honored at the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood:
The 18th Annual Audi Someone to Watch Award was given to Mark Jackson, director of Without. The $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded for the first time by Audi, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not received appropriate recognition.
The 17th Annual Nokia Truer Than Fiction Award was given to Heather Courtney, director of Where Soldiers Come From. The $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Nokia, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.
The 15th Annual Piaget Producers Award was given to Sophia Lin, producer of Take Shelter. The $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Piaget, is presented to an emerging producer who, despite highly limited resources demonstrates the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.
The 2nd Annual Jameson FIND Your Audience Award, which helps one low-budget independent film find a broader audience, was given to Benjamin Murray and Alysa Nahmias, co-directors of Unfinished Spaces. The $40,000 marketing and distribution grant, funded by Jameson® Irish Whiskey, was designed to meet independent filmmakers’ biggest challenge today: How to get their films out into the marketplace.